Please note this guide to eco-friendly dental care contains affiliate links.
With Bamboo Toothbrushes, plastic-free toothpaste and fluoride-free dental tablets, creating a sustainable dental routine has never been easier. Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly solution for your electric toothbrush or don’t know where to start with switching up your toothpaste, this guide to eco-friendly dental care will be a good place to start. I’ve tried and tested the majority of items on this list so I will give you a fair review on each from my personal experience.
The problem with conventional dental products
Each one of us will use an average of 300 toothbrushes in our lifetime. A report from Colgate suggests if we follow the advice from our dentists in replacing our toothbrushes every three months, the UK will throwaway an estimated 264 million toothbrushes every year. And this is just the toothbrushes, this doesn’t account for all the unnecessary plastic packaging and waste that will end up in landfill and potentially in our oceans too.
Fortunately, there are plenty of eco-friendly dental care alternatives out there for us to choose from. It’s just about finding the sustainable swaps that work for you and your lifestyle. So let’s dive right in from the beginning with Bamboo Toothbrushes.
Using a Bamboo Toothbrush for the first time can be an unusual experience. The feeling of the bamboo is very different to a plastic toothbrush; stick with it for a few uses and you’ll soon get used to it. With so many bamboo toothbrushes now available to choose from, I’ve listed my top 2 to get you started:
HYDROPHIL Bamboo Toothbrush
The HYDROPHIL Bamboo Toothbrush was the first bamboo toothbrush I came across. They pride themselves in being the first climate-neutral toothbrush in Europe. They have plenty of different colour options to choose from and have a range just for kids. The Hy family pack is a great place to get started when making the switch for the whole household. Although based in Germany, they have plenty of UK suppliers you can purchase from – plus they donate 10% of their profits to Viva con Agua which is a non-profit organisation committed to providing access to clean drinking water for people in countries of the global South. Overall, the HYDROPHIL Bamboo Toothbrush does exactly what you need it to, whilst produced by an ethical company.
Georganics Beechwood Toothbrush
Rather than the common Bamboo alternative, Georganics have opted to use certified FSC Beechwood from Switzerland to produce their biodegradable toothbrush handles. You can choose your bristle strength from soft, medium or hard, and they also have a kid’s option. The Georganics toothbrush handles can be home composted, however you will need to first snap off the Bristle heads (their toothbrush design makes this very easy). You can then send this back for free through their zero-to-landfill scheme.
Things to note when buying a bamboo toothbrush:
- They need to be disposed of correctly. If you’re simply putting your bamboo toothbrush in the bin, then they are not much more sustainable than a plastic toothbrush. The best way to dispose of them is to pop them in your compost bin. Before you buy, do check over the recycling instructions as you may need to remove the head and bristles before doing so.
- Make sure you clean and dry your toothbrush thoroughly in between each use to keep in tip top condition.
Eco-friendly Electric Toothbrushes
Building a sustainable lifestyle is all about using what you already have. So if you already use an electric toothbrush but want to make it more environmentally friendly – keep reading! Or if a manual toothbrush isn’t going to cut it for you, there’s a great eco-friendly electric toothbrush option for you too.
Brushette – For when you already own an electric Toothbrush
Brushette have developed a brilliant solution if you already own an electric toothbrush. You simply need a Brushette adapter for your toothbrush, and then all you will have to replace is the little heads. This saves around 6g of waste compared to a full head replacement. The Brushette Starter Kit is excellent as it includes the adapter plus 2 heads ready to use. The price for this set is €12, however you can get 20% off their entire range using my discount code: EARTHKIND
Brushette have teamed up with the non-profit BrushCycle to bring you their recycling program ‘Recyclette’. Each time you use this free service, Brushette will credit your account with points to reward you for your loyalty to the planet.
Sonic Toothbrush – If you’re looking for a new electric toothbrush
The Sonic Toothbrush from Georganics is a great option if you’re buying a brand new electric toothbrush. It comes packaged in a cardboard without any plastic packaging. What makes this a really stand out sustainable option in the world of electric toothbrushes, is its extra-long battery life. One full charge lasts up to FIVE weeks! If you choose this option, I’d recommend always having a replacement head in the bathroom cupboard to make sure you’ve always got your new head ready. As with the other Georganics products, you can recycle your replacement heads through their zero-to-landfill scheme for free.
Plastic-Free Toothpaste and Dental Tabs
Generally speaking, in the UK we cannot recycle our plastic toothpaste tubes. However, Colgate have recently teamed up with Terracycle to offer a selection of drop off recycling points for your tube – you can find your nearest drop off location here. This is a great step forward, however the scheme still heavily relies on us (the consumers) to actively take our plastic toothpaste tubes to our nearest collection point. This may not always be possible, or we might not have a collection point nearby. So, what are our plastic-free toothpaste alternatives?
Georganics Natural Toothpaste
Georganics have a huge selection of natural toothpastes available in glass jars with aluminium lids. They have a variety of flavours from Peppermint, Spearmint, Charcoal and even Orange which is an ideal solution for kids. I’ve personally used the Peppermint and Charcoal toothpastes from Georganics and have found these very easy to get along with. With each jar you will receive a bamboo spatula to scoop a pea-sized amount of paste on to your toothbrush. When you first make the change to these natural toothpastes, you’ll notice they do not foam up like the conventional toothpastes we are used to. This is due to them being SLS Free (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) which is the common ingredient used to create the foam when you brush. After a few brushes, you’ll be used to it without any problems.
Toothpaste tablets are becoming increasingly more popular and they are especially useful if you’re travelling or heading on holiday. These little tablets take up barely any space and are not liquid so if travelling by plane you can still take them in your hand luggage. To use, chew one tablet until it turns into a paste and brush as normal. There are a few different toothpaste tablets to choose from, but I have personally used the ones from ecoLiving. They are available in a small travel tin, and then you can buy a refill pack when you run out. You can also choose between Fluoride or Fluoride-Free. Another reason I have chosen the ecoLiving Toothpaste Tablets over other brands is for every product purchased, they will plant a tree through the Eden Reforestation Project.
Pump Action Toothpastes
These are not a plastic-free option, however in any case these will always be a more sustainable option than a plastic toothpaste tube as these are easier to recycle. As long as your local authority collections plastic pots, tubs and trays, they will also collect your Pump Action Toothpastes for recycling too.
Natural Dental Floss
Changing to plastic-free dental floss, in my opinion, is the easiest out of all oral hygiene products to switch. Not only can you get dental floss, which is packaged without any plastic, you can also use natural flosses which can be composted at home after use.
I’ve personally only tried the dental floss from Georganics, and I’m so happy with it, I don’t need to look anywhere else. Their dental floss is available in three flavours – Spearmint, Activated Charcoal and Orange. They are certified PETA cruelty-free and suitable for Vegans. The Natural Floss is made from Corn Floss which has been coated with vegetable wax and organic oils. The first time you buy the Georganics Natural Dental Floss will be in a glass dispenser with an aluminium lid. Once you’ve used that up, you can just go for the refill option and pop it back in your glass dispenser to use again.
If you’re looking for an accessible, environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing Mouthwash then look no further than Waken Care Mouthwash. Available in multiple flavours, widely accessible both online and in shops such as Boots, you can pick this up almost anywhere. It’s an alcohol-free mouthwash, Vegan friendly and is packaged in endlessly recyclable aluminium bottles – although I’m sure you could find a way to repurpose these bottles first!
Oil Pulling Mouthwash
Another favourite from Georganics is their Oil Pulling Mouthwash collection – available in all the traditional flavours, plus a couple extra including Tea Tree, Orange and Eucalyptus. These Oil Pulling Mouthwashes are great for reducing plaque build-up and their natural antimicrobial benefits are known to reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth as well as removing stains in your mouth to naturally whiten your teeth. I had never tried an oil pulling mouthwash before this one, so it was certainly an odd experience, but I have definitely noticed some improvement. Like all the Georganics range, this is packaged 100% plastic free and is available in an aluminium bottle.
And finally, in the sustainable Mouthwash range is my personal favourite, the Georganics Mouthwash Tablets. I love these; they are perfect for travelling as you don’t need to take any liquids with you – great if you’re trying to pack light! These are so easy to use, just dissolve one tablet into 20ml of water, gargle for 30 seconds and spit out for a nice fresh breath! Again, these are available in a glass jar with an aluminium lid, and they have refillable options available so you can just refill your jar to use again and again. A perfect addition to your eco-friendly dental care routine.
Bamboo Interdental Sticks
HYDROPHIL offer bamboo interdental sticks as an environmentally friendly way to complement your daily dental care routine. Available in 4 sizes, these eco-friendly dental sticks are made with a bamboo handle and BPA-Free Nylon Bristles. These are of course packaged plastic-free and are a great sustainable alternative to the traditional interdental sticks without having to compromise on the quality of the product. If you’re searching for a UK stockist of these, then Plastic Freedom is an amazing online plastic-free shop to check out – they plant a tree for every purchase.
And finally, a great little accessory to your eco-friendly dental care routine is a Tongue Scraper. There’s a couple of plastic-free options available such as this 100% Copper Tongue Scraper available at Peace With The Wild, or the Stainless Steel versions from Organically Epic. I haven’t used either personally so I can’t comment on my own experience, however both these options have received excellent reviews from customers and are both packaged 100% plastic free, so you can be sure you won’t be harming the environment with either of these Tongue Scrapers.
I hope you have found this guide to eco-friendly dental care useful, if there’s anything I’ve missed off, please leave me a comment below so I can research them for you. If you want some other ideas on how to make your bathroom more sustainable, check out my sustainable bathroom guide here. And if there’s any other comprehensive guides you’d like me to put together, please get in touch and I’ll add it to the list!